Have you been writing for a long time?
I’ve been writing stories since I was about 7 years old when my second-grade English teacher required all her students to write a new story every week. All my stories were true then, based on some childhood adventure I had over the summer or the weekend, and I remember the teacher praising them. I also remember her forcing me to stand up in front of the class to read some of them—I was so shy!—and that made me want to start writing boring stories. Years later, when I was still a kid, I started my first novel, handwritten in a spiral-bound notebook with a bright yellow cover. It was essentially a retelling of the Cinderella story with a main character named Ella that—SURPRISE!—would be revealed as a secret Cinderella. It’s a good thing I never finished it! After that, I believed the folks that told me that writing is more of a dream and not really a career, so I only wrote sporadically when I was really moved to live my biggest dream, only for life and that “real career” to get in the way. Finally, the urge to write, the feeling that you’re supposed to write, took over, and I finally gave my writing “dream” the priority it deserves.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
A love for reading inspired me to write. I think it’s natural for all of us who love to read to be drawn to the idea of creating our own stories, developing our own ideas, and giving readers that sense of surprise or happiness that we enjoy when we read a great story.
Is this book a stand-alone, or part of a series?
The One Apart is a standalone story, which could continue with a sequel—if its readers demand it.
Why did you choose this genre?
I love the genres; I love most genres! But in this case, the genre, the story, chose me. My stories tend to start with a character or a situation, and then dictate the genre—whether the solution or the story unfolds one way or another. For The One Apart, I woke up one morning with just one interesting sentence in mind as an idea for a brand-new story: “he remembered everything.” It felt really impactful, like the fact that this person remembered “everything” was a big deal, that it wasn’t supposed to happen, something went wrong, or maybe, someone would be really upset to discover this person did remember everything. That was it. I had to start writing the story, from the very beginning, to learn just what was remember, who my main character was, etc. And that’s when I found he remembered all of his past lives—and he wasn’t supposed to.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write. Don’t allow yourself the distraction and hesitation of thinking about writing or reading about it; just write. Write to gain your confidence, to find your voice, to get damn good, and push yourself to finally share something with the rest of the world. And forget what others think of your work; if you really love writing for all the right reasons, you will be great at it and readers will recognize that. BUT… if absolutely everyone says “eh…” about your stories, or only your mother and significant other “love it!” then take that as a bit of beautiful revelation: that you’re still holding yourself back, somehow for some reason. And you need to dig deeper, into the place where you have no fear, or you’re courageous enough to write about what you fear. And that’s the writing, the stories, that are pure gold.
About the Book
Title: The One Apart
Author: Justine Avery
Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he’s lived before.
Tres is about to be born… with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.
He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he’s too afraid to ask: why am I?
In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.
Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.
Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.
Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.
Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.
Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.
Book buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B7RDWY